Hilltoppers’ Defense aims for fast start vs UTC

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will aim to snap a two-game losing streak this weekend as they host UT-Chattanooga.

Saturday’s contest at Houchens-Smith Satdium will be UTC’s only game this fall, as the Southern Conference has decided to postpone the football season to next spring.

Tops Co-Defensive Coordinator Maurice Crum admits that trying to prepare for a team that hasn’t played at all this year has been a new and unique challenge.

“It’s tough cause it’s like the first game all over again,” Crum says, “You think you have an idea based off what they did last year but you don’t know what they’ve been studying… but that’s why you play the game – for the challenge – and it’ll be fun.”

Through the first five regular season games, one of the things that’s plagued the Hilltoppers the most has been their slow starts, especially on defense.

In four losses, WKU has given up an average of 24.5 points in the first half alone, which is less than ideal for an offense that scores just over 18 points per game themselves.

Defensive end Juwuan Jones believes that winning one-on-one battles and starting strong defensively are two major keys to getting back in the win column this weekend.

“Football is a series of one-on-ones.. you have to win your one-on-one, whether you have to cover the back, beat the tackle or cover the receiver,” the red-shirt junior explains, “…I think we’re hitting our stride right now. Coming off a loss, we’re hungry and we’re ready to get a win this Saturday.”

Kickoff for this weekend’s game between the WKU Hilltoppers and UTC Mocs is slated for 3 p.m. local time at Houchens Industries-L. T. Smith Stadium.